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Probate question: unmarried parents, minor child, no will, large estate.

Buffalo, NY |

My daughter's father is very ill. We were never married, but lived together for 7 years as a family prior to 2012. He never made a will. His assets are valued in excess of $1mill, incl. a luxury home, a factory, a business, machinery/equipment, and real estate. Our daughter is his only child. There is a woman who claims to have a child with him, was with dozens of other men at the same time, and paternity has never been tested or established; she may suddenly show up looking for a handout. He has a sister with an unpleasant disposition, who lives out of state and will be looking for a handout. Should he pass, what forms do I file with probate/surrogates ASAP to safeguard our daughter's inheritance? She is his only daughter, so everything should rightfully pass to her.

Attorney Answers 6

Posted

If your daughter's father is well enough and has the capacity to do so, he could make a will.

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You should speak to an estate attorney.

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Your daughter's father should consult an estate attorney. Often, when a client is very ill attorneys are willing to do house visits. You may also want to consult an estate attorney separately to protect your daughter's interest. If there is no will, the estate will likely pass through intestacy and someone will have to petition the court to become Administrator, which is similar to an executor. The Administrator will distribute the assets of the estate by the laws of intestacy.

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Your daughter is her father's sole heir at law. Is she a minor? You will need to retain a lawyer to bring a petition for administration of the father's estate. You cannot go this alone.

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Posted

Get him to sign a will right away. So long as he has capacity, we can sign a will and potentially save you years of litigation.

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Posted

Like others, my first advice would be to have the father make a new will as quickly as possible. Often members of the national Academy of Elder Law attorneys are available and will even make house calls. You can find a member of the Academy at www.naela.org. In addition, if your daughter is a minor it may be important that you be formally appointed as her guardian. Even if you are your daughters custodian, if she is to have a claim against her father's estate she may need to have a guardian or, as it is sometimes called, a conservator, to act in her best interest with the court. The court may also appoint a guardian ad litem during the pendency of any probate. However, the most important thing is for the child's father to see a lawyer and if it all possible make it will, and also for you to contact an attorney as well to get the best possible legal advice.

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1 comment

Jeffrey Kevin Davis

Jeffrey Kevin Davis

Posted

Listen to the godfather of soul!!!!

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